What Is a Blocked Cat and How to Manage?
The term “blocked cat” refers to a urinary blockage in cats – a life-threatening circumstance when left untreated. Click here to learn more about it!
What Does "Blocked" Cat Mean?
Urinary blockage is a painful medical condition that normally affects male cats, especially the neutered ones. When left untreated, it might even lead to life-threatening situations where the furry felines might die due to self-poisoning. In quotidian terms, this condition is referred to as a “blocked cat” or a “blocked Tom.”
By urinary blockage, we mean that the cat’s urethra (the tube that works to drain the urine from a cat’s bladder to the penis) gets blocked due to an inflammatory material. This blockage restricts the urine exit, which ends up overfilling the bladder. Not to mention, when this blockage goes on for way too long, the kidneys start to swell due to the constant pressure. This condition often leads the bladder to tear or rupture.
Since this phenomenon is common in neutered male cats, cat owners must pay attention to their pet’s behavior and waste habits. The sooner an infected cat gets diagnosed, the more likely it’ll have a healthier and faster recovery.
Why are Neutered Cats More Prone to Urinary Blockage?
Neutered males cats are typically more prone to experience urinary blockage because they have narrower urethras. These passages are so thin that any involuntary urethral muscle spasm can end up being the cause of a blockage. Furthermore, small urinary stones, mucus, and urine mineral crystals are often a common source of this unfortunate happening. Additional blockage causes may include an underlying condition called Feline Idiopathic Cystitis (FIC) or consumption of high-magnesium food.
Signs of a Blocked Cat
Here are the most common signs of a blocked cat that you must keep your eyes on:
Your cat will get into position in the litter box, but nothing will come out when they try to urinate. Or, you might see the tiniest dribble, which most pet owners often confuse with congestion.
Your cat may yowl or cry due to the pain when they try to urinate.
They hide inside the litter box to avoid human contact.
Lastly, you may see them licking their genitals below their tale’s base.
If you notice your cat exhibiting a combination of these symptoms, it’s best not to wait and contact your veterinarian as soon as possible.
How to Manage Blocked Cats
It’s crucial not to delay your visit to the vet when you see your cat encountering problems while urinating. Case in point, even a few hours hold-up in reporting can make a life and death difference for your pet.
When your cat has a case of urinary blockage, the vet needs to give them anesthesia and place a catheter into their urethra for flushing out the stone or other toxins from the bladder. The catheter is left in place for a few days until the urethral swelling and pain subsides.
Furthermore, if the obstruction isn’t removed afterward, a cystotomy (surgical opening of cat’s bladder) must be performed, followed by an X-ray.
Finally, once the material blocking the urinary tract is removed by either means, you must manage your previously blocked cat’s routine with significant diet changes, medication tweaks, and medical rechecks to ensure everything remains fine.
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